Jasper Paladin Thoughts.

jasper

Rotten DM
the paladin committed murder thread Paladin just committed murder - what should happen next?
Reminded me I had a paladin article. I think it needs to be updated for 5E suggestions welcome.
This article came from 3E article which came from my 1E paladin notes. With 5 E some of this is out of date.
DMs must come up with a code of conduct for paladins. And allow the player to make adjustments. This needs to be done before the character is created.

The Detect Evil ability of paladins is not a problem. Detect Evil targets creatures, objects and spells. Humanoid are classified as creatures. A character with an evil alignment at tenth or lower level would have a faint aura of power. Up to twenty-fifth level a moderate aura. A priest of evil god who class level is one has a faint, second to fourth a moderate, strong at fifth to tenth, and overwhelming after that. Detect Evil is divination with V, S, Df, how ever it is spell like ability which has no components. Can the detect evil spell like ability be detected? It depends on the Dm handles spell like abilities, and if there are any spells up on the patrons.

So Paladin casts a spell in crowded bar and in eighteen seconds knows at table four there is one overwhelming aura, and three faint traces. He charges! After slaying the evil he is beheaded for murder. It is time for player to roll up his next paladin. A paladin is just another adventurer who can be cast into jail for violating the local laws.

However paladins are not cops.
Ex. Lawyer, Excuse me Bucky the Wonder Paladin, did you say halt I’m a Paladin before you attacked Orcus in the town square.
Bucky, No he was EVIL!
Dm, Boom There it is! No more paladin powers for you since you violated the law.
If this were to happen in a game, the dm does not understand paladins.

Also a paladin is not smite on sight sword slinger.
Ex. Bucky the Wonder Paladin while giving a class on justice, decides to detect evil on the Springfield Elementary fourth grade class. Suddenly he rushes over and starts choking Bart Simpson. With the aid of Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner was able to subdue Bucky. Bucky is now doing five to ten in the local pen. Hey that is it. Sideshow Bob is a paladin.

A paladin liberally using his Detect Evil every five rounds isn’t smart either and he is being tacky. Bucky the Wonder paladin arrives on noon stage coach to Tatoonie. He wanders into Jabba’s Bar and Grill (slogan you kill we grill for a small fee). Bucky starts detecting evil. He draws his sword. (sfx of mass blaster fire). A small droid rolls out of wall and vacuums up the ashes. The bartender adds another hash mark to paladins’ wasted wall.

What Bucky should do is something like this. Bucky the Wonder paladin and party are stop by Mr. Haney the road side vendor. While Mr. Haney goes into his pitch, Bucky detects evil and receives a faint aura. Bucky, “It sounds like a good deal on the +3 vorpal Ginzu set but I do not trust Mr. Haney. Mr. Haney are you sure this is a good deal?” etc. Bucky then notes Mr. Haney as a person to keep an eye on in the future.

Are paladins the law, Judge Dread of the land? Ask your Dm. IMC it varies with kingdom whether they are the law enforcement office. Now I once had a Paladin chase the party half way across the continent. Once she caught up with party and learned the facts of jail break, she charged them with the jail break. Fined them and made them pay the wergild for the slain guards. Then cut them loose since the party was fighting greater evil than the violation of kingdom laws.

Would Bucky the Wonder Paladin back stab Orcus in the back, when Orcus is shopping at Wal-Mart? It depends on the level and code of conduct of paladin. At first level just as he was going for his sword his cell phone would beep.
Bucky, “Hello, Bucky speaking.” Voice, “do not do it. You are not good enough yet.” Bucky, “but he is EVIL!”
Voice, “the boss does not employ stupid paladins. Help is on the way so just sit still and don’t get yourself nuked!”
Bucky, “What’s a nuke?”
Voice, “Never mind that!” click.

Now if Bucky was twentieth level, and Bucky was shopping for some new Underroos and spied Orcus in the shoe dept and he did nothing. His cell phone would beep.
“Bucky here. How may I help you?”
Voice, “Clean up on aisle five.”
Bucky, “Can’t you see I am shopping in peace here?” Voice, “Clean up on aisle five, now.”
Bucky, “Hey I am on vacation! Can’t you get someone else?”
Voice, “Clean up on aisle five, right now! Or how long can you tread water!”
Bucky, “Ok I’m going. You can’t take a little joke.” Click.

I allow paladins to drink, smoke, flirt etc depending on their CoC. Hey they can have gas if they want to. The CoC for each god is not necessary the same to give each religion and paladin some style. Also the player decides on how evil aura appears to the paladin. One player uses the taste of crisp bacon for faint, to burnt bacon, to spit it out. Another uses smell and still another uses color yellow, orange, then red.

A dm must never set up a no win dilemma for paladin. So no coming to intersection and having to choose between saving Grandpa Jones from the wolf or running into the burning hut to save Baby Huey.

A dm should give a clear warning that a propose action will result in lost of paladin hood. Either Bucky the Wonder paladin gets a cold shiver as he starts to plan the bank robbery. Or the dm speaks, “Jasper I will pull the paladin status of Bucky if you keep it up.” The warning should be clear enough for player to take five and decide to continue with the action or not.

A player needs to clearly understand how the dm views the CoC. Accept the fact that some players do not get along the dm’s views and play another class.

Now to srd
A Willing commit an evil act.
Respect legitimate authority. I sorry of Great Evil Mucky Muck but I must respectfully ask you step down from the throne. I have to lop off you head to pay for the thousands of people your secret police assassinated on your orders. No problems with this one.
Help the needy in good ways.
Punish those who harm others, or threaten harm.

Act with honor (No lying, no cheating, no poison use, insert dm views here). Ok here is where you need your dm’s input. Do I tell the border guards the truth, I here to toss Orcus off his throne or just say personal business? Is a bluff a lie?
Can I cheat a con man and win back the orphanage’s Christmas goose fund?
Can I use sleep poison to bring in Bad Bart Simpson for trial, or do I just hack him up when he is down for the count?
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
From my pre-session zero page on character generation.

Warlocks, Clerics, Druids, Paladins, etc (and some backgrounds) have to work with the Gm to iron out the details and come to agreement on the nature of their relationships with other NPCs/Entities, groups and such. Your Patron, Divinity/Church and Guild sponsors will play a role in the campaign - often favorable but sometimes challenging.
 

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